Saturday, February 25, 2017

Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge

I sort of debated if I wanted to see this movie. But I'm glad I did and put it on my Netflix disc list.

My hesitation came from that it was directed by Mel Gibson and I don't really want to support him after his anti-Semitic drunk diatribe. Same reason I never watch Michael Moore movies, even on Netflix. I'm afraid some money of mine might get to him. Even one penny would be too much for Moore. I decided I could live with some money making its way to Gibson.

Hacksaw Ridge is a very good movie. It's the true story of an American medic named Desmond Doss in World War II who was a conscientious objector. He refused to touch a gun, even in basic training. This leads to a near court marshal. He was, according to the movie, the only medic in World War II that went into battle unarmed.

The first part of the movie deals with his rough childhood and home life. His abusive father (played very well by Hugo Weaving) and his mother who tries to protect the children all affected Doss's attitude toward war and guns. It was great to see a man stand up for his beliefs in the face of brutal opposition.

Vince Vaughn plays out of type as a tough but pretty fair sergeant.

The third act of the movie is the battle for Hacksaw Ridge on Okinawa in the Pacific. This part of the film was very violent and gory. It was nearly as visceral as the beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan. So know what you're going into.

But that realistic violence makes what Doss did all the more remarkable. I won't give it away, but he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the only conscientious objector to ever do so.

One thing Gibson did was cast Teresa Palmer as Doss's girlfriend. Palmer is not Hollywood gorgeous. She's a pretty girl, but you wouldn't expect to see her on a runway. But you wouldn't be surprised to see her as a nurse in a hospital, which was the role she played. This added a bit more realism to the movie.

My biggest objection was that Doss's hair was way too long throughout the entire film.

If the violence and gore doesn't bother you, I strongly recommend this film.

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